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Medicaid expansion fails in Idaho

Posted at 4:29 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 18:29:58-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho lawmakers have failed to finalize a proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility that would appease the Republican supermajority in the waning days of the legislative session.

 Instead, two minor proposals emerged Wednesday to devote more resources to studying the so-called Medicaid gap population. An estimated 78,000 Idaho residents are caught in a gap where they neither qualify for health insurance subsidies or Medicaid.

The first measure would create a legislative working group to study the gap population. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has convened two similar groups over the years that both endorsed Medicaid expansion.

Meanwhile, the second proposal would approve $5 million for a grant program to collect demographic and health data -- as well as expand services -- on Idaho's gap population that use community health clinics.